Dear Mayor: Please Stop Using Your Office To Politic

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Dear Mayor Wheeler, stop the scapegoating (Guest opinion)

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The author argues that Mayor Ted Wheeler has show favor for political protests one one side -- such as this Anti-Trump march on Saturday -- but has blocked others he doesn't agree with.
The author argues that Mayor Ted Wheeler has show favor for political protests one one side -- such as this Anti-Trump march on Saturday -- but has blocked others he doesn't agree with.(Mike Zacchino/Staff)

By Bill Currier

Dear Mayor Wheeler,

It's time to get your story straight. Jeremy Joseph Christian is a violent ex-convict who, according to news reports, expressed hatred for Christians and Jews, in addition to Muslims, and supported Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein in 2016, not Trump. He is reported to have joined a Trump rally only to be ejected after fighting with them. He sounds more like the types who threatened the 82nd Avenue Parade and who rioted on May 1st. If you oppose hate speech and the climate of violence, when will you look into the activities of the Antifa types, who are responsible for 100 percent of the recent political violence in the Portland Metro Area? You seem entirely unconcerned about the obvious and real "hate speech" of these "Kill Cops" alt-left protesters while you pontificate about threats to public safety from those who have yet to pose any.

You have allowed lawlessness in your city, Mr. Mayor, and now you're declaring that certain political points of view must be silenced in order for everyone to be kept "safe." This is the tactic of tyrants and third world dictators, who have used the excuse that someone's peacefully-expressed point of view must not be heard in order to preserve "public safety." But under the Constitution and laws of our country, free speech is precisely what public safety is supposed to safeguard. Oregon's Constitution is even more emphatic that "free expression" must be protected. Now, it seems you've crossed a dangerous line and have willingly chosen the same excuses of tyrants and dictators who believe that they can utilize mob rule to quash political dissent and preserve their monopoly on public opinion.

To make things even worse, you appear to have enthusiastically issued a permit to the same protest groups that gave the Rose City its riotous, hate-filled protests on May 1st, as well as those in late January and early last November. It's clear that you are using your office to favor these groups while contributing to the very same problem you claim to be trying to prevent. It is getting hard to believe your claim of sincerity and fairness in all of this anymore.

Jeremy Joseph Christian allegedly killed one Republican and one Democrat, while seriously wounding an autistic poet. There was nothing partisan about the atrocity this weekend, except your scapegoating. There was something very American about their heroism. Mr. Mayor, you have a golden opportunity to unite a community against this atrocity. Instead, you chose to scapegoat part of it and spew political talking points. Step up, denounce the scapegoating and be a real leader. Rejoin the civilized world and put your anti-free speech compulsions away for good. Restore peace, safety and freedom of speech for everyone in Portland. Who knows? Maybe you'll inspire Governor Kate Brown to get off the sidelines and finally help!

Bill Currier is the chairman of the Oregon Republican Part.

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